Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design

Well it’s official. After just under nine months of hard graft, I have officially received my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design, and I have a certificate to prove it.


So, was it worth it? Yes it was.

I have learnt a lot through undertaking the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design, especially how the design process works, and becoming familiar with other processes. Of particular value was the detailed evaluation that went with each design. By looking carefully at the eventual design, and how it came about, and was implemented, it was much easier to improve for the next one.

I enjoyed looking at other design processes, but feel really comfortable with my own, and with bringing the useful bits of others into it, to create a custom design process for a particular project.

Perhaps the most significant benefit to me has been what I’ve learnt about myself, and how I can deliberately plan my own learning and progression more efficiently.

Looking ahead, I am carefully considering the possibility of becoming a Permaculture Diploma tutor, but am uncomfortable with some of the proposed criteria and guidelines that are being considered. If the accreditation criteria do not become more restrictive, then I’d like to help others to learn a bit more about permaculture, and themselves. Luckily that decision can wait for a bit.

Without the additional work that the diploma needed, I can get back to some semblance of normality with the blog. I have posts on my new chicken housing system, and a book review, almost ready to go, and will get them out shortly.

Thanks for sticking with me.

Take Care


17 thoughts on “Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design

  1. Sue Laverack

    Many many congratulations! Well deserved!

    I suspect that whether formally, by becoming a diploma tutor, or informally you will continue to teach and inspire others as you have me. I shall look forward to hearing how your plans, experiments and ideas work out.

    Thank you


    1. Deano Post author

      Hi Sue
      Thank you for that.
      I think that my best bet is to try and do something to help get the framework as good as it can be, and then work within it.
      I hope that things are going well at your end, what are your plans?

  2. Jay

    In this process of learning, were you guided as to what was required or did you decide on the topics (such as your chicken scavaging system) on your own. The work you had put on the blog was more focused that I have seen in other blogs and talks about permaculture anywhere. What I have found are there are a lot of people talking about design and doing the same old stuff and you seemed to be creating an example that can be used (as a potential benefit, or as a possible pitfall) to those out there not able to implement that aspect of design to our site or who were thinking of stacking another function.

    Thanks for your hard work.


    1. Deano Post author

      Hi Jay
      Thanks for your comments, and for noticing the diference.
      I took the Independent route, so chose what to include, and what to leave out.
      I take to heart the thought that to avoid a direct choice between fossil fuel or drudge, we need information and intelligence. My approach to design is to pack as many of the functions that I want from a design into as many parts of it as I can. Sometimes that means doing stuff differently.
      I also love to try to experiment. This gives me an additional function/yield from my designs, in the form of new knowledge.
      I am fortunate in that my ‘making a living’ is taken care of, so I can afford to get things wrong occasionally. Not everybody has that luxury.
      What are you working on at the moment?

  3. Jay

    You are really lucky in the “making a living” part of your design. 🙂 You staged that perfectly. We are all lucky that you are making your learning available thru the blog. I personally have monitored (2 times) a year long online permaculture design course with Barking Frog Permaculture in Florida. I am not certified because I don’t think I want to teach or design for others. (and it would reqire more time than I think I have) I really just find the volume of what I don’t know amazing. The class has allowed me to start my study in Permaculture with a broad list of books and materials to get me started. I live in the sububurbs in Atlanta Ga USA, keep bees, just got our first Beveren rabbit, and have a small backyard foodforest where I am making mistakes and learning. If I was a client for someone I would be in the “what resources do you have / what can you do ” part of the questionaire. With that said I am buying books, tools, trailers, taking mushroom growing classes, fruit tree growing/pruning classes, etc. Anything that gives me additional information so I can better see all the connections that might be available. I am also trying to teach my kids as much as I can as I go along so their learning curve isn’t so steep when they grow up. They are going to need what permaculture teaches. Lastly, I am still learning the blogging thing and hope to add to the overall content out there in the future.

    Enjoy your work.


    1. Deano Post author

      What you are doing sounds really interesting. I don’t think that any of us ever stop learning new stuff.
      Each time that i think that I’m getting good at something, another level of knowledge opens up to explore that I can dive into.
      Keep in touch, and let me know how you get on.
      If you want any good book shouts/websites for any particular project, give me a shout.

  4. Sue Laverack

    Hi Deano,

    I have to work within an existing infrastructure as it would be too costly (in every sense) to change even though it is far from ideal.

    I am almost half way through a 6 month course at Coppicewood college learning traditional woodland skills ( I am blogging my experiences at http://www.Coppicewood.blogspot.co.uk) and that is taking up a lot of time. I need to know how to manage the trees on my plot and this course does that using only hand tools. As I live alone that is important to me – they are less dangerous than power ones!

    However I THINK I have completed my plan (many thanks to your system which I used but adapted slightly to my own needs) but am now letting it. ‘mellow’ and researching plants. The chairman of Coppicewood has a forest garden and is bringing in samples of produce for all of us on the course to try.

    A conversation with my Yoga teacher set me thinking (do you, like me, love it when something comes in from an unexpected direction?). As a counsellor I did a lot of work on my emotional awareness but am blind to my physical state. In my Permaculture design I need to include body, mind (thought and emotion) and spirit. The reading I have done so far focussed on the physical (zoning, production) with a nod to community / social spaces but thinking spaces, spaces that lift my spirits, and spiritual spaces are implicit more than explicit. I want to think these through before I commit to a design.

    It is very tempting to go one of two ways; to dash ahead and DO something to get a result / reward quickly OR to go on endless courses to put off the risk of doing it and realizing I have made a mistake! in reality there are things I cannot ‘undo’ if I get them wrong and others which can be put right if necessary. Knowing which is which is the next challenge!

    Given time and energy constraints I will start planting this winter (I am hoping to order stuff over the Christmas break) but accept that most plans will have to wait until the summer (and next winter for most planting).

    1. Deano Post author

      Lots of interesting stuff in there. I agree that all of the designs start with the designer themselves, and need to fit in with everything else that you want/need to do or achieve.
      I’ll bookmark your blog, and take a look.
      Balancing the need to observe and get it right with doing something can be hard. Getting on and doing things incrementally i a great way of chieveing both. As long as you have an overall framework in mind, it will be easier to do bits at a time and still be working towards a common purpose.
      Wishing you well

  5. Lewis

    Happy belated birthday from your forgetful son! hope all is well and congratulations on the diploma!

    Love from my part of the Clan and see you in a week

  6. Jennifer

    Many congratulations, please keep on teaching others in some form as you are an inspiration. Have recently acquired an allotment so have a new patch to try out lessons learned from you.
    Don’t forget HAPI still owe you a work day
    Happy Christmas and all the best for 2013

    1. Deano Post author

      Hi Jennifer
      Nice to hear from you, and hope that you and David are well.
      It’s looking more hopeful at the moment. I’ve been really pleased with how seriously the Permaculture Association take the idea of ‘feedback’. So I think that they will do a really good job of tweaking the new stuff into the best shape that it can be.
      As I’m not fully aware of all of the constraints that they are working under, I cannot say how much will change, but I’m optimistic, which is normal.
      I haven’t forgotten about the work day, but have not got a suitable project to utilise your work.
      Have a great holiday

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